Living In a Dark Place

by on April 27, 2012 · 26 comments

in Life Events, The Widder Curry

Who would have thought that a mature babe like me would fall “head over heels in love” with a man much younger than me? A man, by most standards, that fits the ”tall, dark and handsome” description. A man that is polite; humorous, amorous, concerned about the welfare of people he knows, and would willingly do anything for someone that needed help.

He sounds ideal so what’s the problem? Simply put, he is not interested in me; not because of the age difference because that doesn’t seem to matter. Not because we are not compatible, because we have a great time together; not because our sex life is bad, because it is great, but because he has been burned before and is afraid it will happen again. He promised himself that he would never, ever, make another commitment to a woman, and he wants to stick to that promise. It became such an issue that he decided not to see me again. Ever. He felt that I was becoming too attached – I was – and he was afraid of that attachment. And, although he has sort of admitted it – he, too, was becoming attached.

I almost cannot function until I hear his voice in the morning – on the phone. I tremble and shake if he does not call me – or if I cannot reach him. I worry about him when I don’t hear from him, and the weekends are the worst. During the week I sometime bump into him, but because he lives quite a distance away, and because he has a second job in Riverside County, there is no chance of seeing him Saturday or Sunday. He usually doesn’t have his phone on, so I have no way of reaching him. (I truly think he turns his phone off just so that I can’t reach him.) Yet when we do talk, no matter what day it is, or what time it is, he is loving, friendly, and never seems annoyed that I called him.

His friends think that he should be dating and so they fix him up with women that they know. So far none of those dates have become second dates. Am I so terrible to be glad of that? The thought that he is out with another woman when I have such feelings for him sends me into a deep depression that takes hours, even days, to recover. I try to tell him that I am not attached to him, but my every movement, every gesture belies that statement. All he needs to do is look into my eyes and know my thoughts. I have never had that experience before even though I have been married two times.

So what is the answer? I have tried to stay away and not call him. Then he calls and asks if everything is all right and I ask why he is calling, he tells me it is because he hasn’t heard from me. Is he speaking out of both sides of his mouth? I think – or perhaps I want to think – that he really has become attached and is afraid of the consequences. That is all well and good, but where does that leave me?

Several weeks ago I overstepped my bounds. We had gone out for a massage, dinner, and I expected him to spend the night. Unbeknownst to me that was not his plan. When he took me home and said “goodnight” I was a sulky, petulant woman. He later told me that it was at that moment that he knew we could no longer have a romantic relationship. When he walked out that door I knew it was over, and sank into one of the deepest depression I have ever suffered in my life. The closing of that front door was so final I thought I was acting in a Grade B movie.

Several days later he came over so we could talk. And he said that the only way we could continue seeing each other was as “good friends.” He said he knew he could “tell me anything without any judgment on my part. “ He has never had that kind of relationship with a female before. I feel the same way about him. And so, when he comes in the house and gives me a kiss, or a hug, or both, my hopes soar that maybe we can become romantically inclined again. And each time he reminds me that we are only great friends – never lovers again.

Depression is a funny thing. Life is going on all around me and I do not feel a part of it. I know that I am in a crowded room, but I do not see – nor feel – anything. I have a visual image of myself looking like a zombie to others. Yet I know that is not what I am projecting, because people come up to me and talk to me and I am able to carry on a conversation that, on the surface, appears to be normal. I even smile and laugh at things being said to me, but the emotional part of me is missing. It is buried in layers of “what ifs” that will not ever happen as much as I will them to fruition.

Last night we went out to dinner. It was a nice dinner and we held hands when we were not eating. To the left of us was a party of 8 older people celebrating a birthday. The woman on the end kept glancing over our way and finally I heard her say, “that couple is so much in love”. So amusing, in a macabre sort of way, because once again he was telling me that the “romance” part of our relationship was over and it would never be restarted. When we left I asked him to kiss me – which he did – because I wanted the woman to be happy in her thoughts – and –quite frankly, I wanted the kiss.

As he has done several times before, he walked me to the door; came inside and played with my dog; hugged me and kissed me good night and went home. It wasn’t even 7:00pm yet. The loneliness was so great that I am sure if you were with me you could have felt it. Everything around me was hollow – the silence deafening. I put on the jacket I had just removed and left the house. I could not bear to be home, even though my dog and one of my students were there.

This morning he came over to put some blind spot mirrors on my new car mirrors. He came in the door and gave me a kiss and a hug. In the garage he gave me another kiss and a hug. When he left 15 minutes later he gave me a kiss and a hug. That is not to say that he generated those gestures. Of course not. I did, and he followed suit. I called him twice since he was here; spoke to him a few minutes each time. He is leaving on a trip tomorrow and will be gone 5 days. That means there is no chance I will be able to see him during that time. He promised he will call me – he promised not to tell me if he meets an attractive female and goes out with her. And what will I be doing while he is enjoying himself with his friends? Holding on to the phone waiting for his call. All day, all evening. I have packed things into my schedule for the days he is gone. It won’t matter. I am so possessed by this man that even when I go through the motions of having a good time, it will be a sham.

Yes, I need help. I have, in fact, scheduled an appointment with a therapist for the first available date – May 18th. I hope I can hold everything together until that time. No, I am not suicidal – my dog depends on me. But one more ironic twist – if something were to happen to me my “friend” will take my dog, because, unfortunately, the dog loves my friend almost as much as I do.

Depression comes in many forms I am finding out. After my husband died my Primary Care Physician prescribed anti-depressants to help me get through each day. She didn’t prescribe just one kind; she ended up prescribing 7 different ones, but none of them helped me except to make me tired so I could sleep – practically all day! What is this new therapist going to prescribe? Medications? I won’t take them. (There probably aren’t any left that I haven’t taken anyway.) Will I be told to forget this man and move on with my life? (Like I can do that.) Keep busy – (I’m trying). Wake up and act like an adult? (Because I have some of the same feelings I had when I was a teenager.)

All I do know that compared to so many people in this world this is a minor – albeit annoying – glitch. It doesn’t compare to when I was diagnosed with breast cancer; it doesn’t compare when my husband was told he had lung cancer; it doesn’t compare to the sinking feeling I experienced when my 13 month old granddaughter passed away from what was thought to be SIDS. It doesn’t compare to any catastrophe that others are going through or have gone through. But to me, it feels like I am in a gully, and the sides are so slippery I can’t get a grip to pull myself up. I posted two sayings to face book last week: “ Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are NOT a sign of weakness. They are signs of having tried to remain strong for too long.” Is that me? Am I finally collapsing because I have no more strength to get out of this quagmire? The other posting is one that would make me feel so much better if it were only possible to achieve: “One of the BEST FEELINGS in the world is when you hug SOMEONE YOU LOVE, and they hug you back even TIGHTER!”

The answer is out there somewhere. I will periodically address the progress of regaining my sanity if anyone is interested. It is to be noted that this is not a ploy for sympathy. Far from it. I do not want sympathy from anyone. I am trying to understand what is happening to me, and hope that others can relate to the feelings I am generating. I have too much left in me to accept this mental anguish without a fight. And I am good at “fighting the fight.”

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Anna Daniels April 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

Judi- you may not want sympathy, but my immediate feeling of empathy translates into both sympathy and a strong desire to hug you tight.
Being in love is such a voluptuous experience. Our bodies take over with the quickening of a heart beat, butterflies in the stomach, with visceral aches and longing. Grief is also a voluptuous experience. You are experiencing all of the above. There is such an irony–that feeling so acutely alive is synonymous with agony.
I am sure that your post is deeply resonant with many of us Judi. I hope you emerge intact from the dark place. It will probably take time. Keep us posted please. And a warm hug.


avatar judi Curry April 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

Thanks for your understanding, Anna. I never thought I would ever be in this place at this time of my life. I keep waiting for the “golden years” but they must have passed me by when I wasn’t looking. (It is very difficult to think that they are still ahead of me!) Your hugs and support help me in passing through each day.


avatar Dr. Phil April 27, 2012 at 8:43 am

I read this with great interest. One thing kept jumping into my mind: He’s got another couple of Girlfriends. Every time a guy uses that delay poly ( In my best sniveling voice here: “I have been hurt i am so sensitive I cant do this again , but when do we get naked” ? ) beware something is going on trust me. The second job , the phone not on ….Really come on . How often do you have your phone on you and it’s off ??
The best bit of advice I have ever heard is . The best way to really find out about a person is to let them be themselves. You learn a lot about people by NOT nagging, preaching, bitching , or telling them what you want , expect or demand. You see the real person by letting them be their real self Not the self you WANT them to be. He has shown you what he really is accept it move on .


avatar judi Curry April 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thanks for your comments, Dr. Phil. I can assure you that he does not have any other girlfriends. He is too busy working for that. I know he has a job that keeps him busy in San Diego for over 8 hours a day; and I know he has a second job in Riverside County that he also works at 8 hours a night. With driving to and fro 4 hours a day, he doesn’t have time for much else. As far as his phone – he turns it off primarily because he is working with heavy machinery and can’t hear it ring anyway. His whole body is vibrating because of the machinery being used, and the phone would have to really shake, rattle and roll for him to feel it. As for your advice to see what he wants and move on is just what I am trying to do. For that morsel of advice, I thank you.


avatar Dr. Phil April 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

From my many years being around men I will tell you one thing , never be surprised by what they do or say. If I had a nickle for every time I heard a woman say ” he does not have another girlfriend” or ” he’s just busy that’s why he ignores me” I would have a giant pocketful of nickles ….Dr. Phil is a wise 55 year old who has been privy to many things men say and do . Glad to help N/C for the online advice.


avatar Shane Finneran April 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

Wow, Judi, thank you for your candor! I hope some light soon brightens up the dark place for you.

You mention anti-depressants, and my reaction is be very wary… lots of studies, including many by the drug companies themselves, show anti-depressants might help in the short term but also make many people’s depression worse in the long term. The eye-opening book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” tells the real story about anti-depressants as well as meds for bipolar and schizophrenia — it’s must reading for anyone contemplating pills. a summary by the author on HuffPost here


avatar judi Curry April 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Thanks, Shane, for you insightful advice. I had already decided to turn down any and all meds I might be offered because of the reactions I had when I took them before. I am glad to know of “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and have ordered it. The summary is very interesting. I must say that I NEVER thought this would happen to me, and am somewhat baffled by my reactions. Your support is greatly appreciated.


avatar OB Mercy April 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Wow, I can totally relate Judi. But I’m a bit confused. You’ve been writing articles and commenting on others about the online dating thing. Not once did you ever mention (and not that you had to) that you were already seeing someone. My state of confusion is valid, but sympathetic.

I had posted on that last online dating article a that a guy on here authored, that I was just starting to see someone. 4 amazing dates where we talked for hours and hours. He made me dinner on Easter. Our next date was me cooking for him. He cancelled while I was getting dinner ready because he was supposed to move the previous day, but it got pushed to our date day and he was having all kinds of problems. But he texted me instead of calling me. I told him I understood what he was going through, but that if he was going to cancel on someone at the last minute, the least he could do was call, not text. Haven’t heard from him since. I’ve texted, called and emailed him. Nothing. First man I have had a connection like that with in 10 yrs! Talk about confused!

And ya’ll wonder why we women (and men must go through it too) get so emotional over all this. I really do get what you’re going through. I didn’t get my heart broken until I was 50. I still leave my heart open to any possibility though. But after spending 20 hours (mine was also quite a bit younger) talking to this man who said…nothing I could say would scare him off…well, my level of trust is also damaged. I feel for you, I truly do Judi. If you ever want to meet for a cuppa, let me know!


avatar judi Curry April 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I’d love to meet you for a cuppa. Let’s arrange it.

As far as my on-line dating. I never admitted to myself that I was “in love.” He kept encouraging me to date; to find someone that was willing to make a commitment. I took great satisfaction in telling him I “went on a date last night” and even more satisfaction in telling him “there won’t be a second one.”

As far as “seeing” someone; so much of what I was “seeing” was a figment of my imagination. If he came over here to change the 5 gallon bottle of water, I told myself he was coming over to see me. If he came over to check and refill the fluids in the car, I contrived the story, in my mind, to be his coming to see me.
I found that I could “create” any scenario with just a little encouragement. I build up this “love affair” because I wanted it to be, but he really never did and told me from the onset.

I feel for your latest relationship. My friend and I have talked many times of the “impersonalization” of texting. How much better a phone call is, regardless of the news it conveys. Yet, when he let me know he was leaving on this vacation, he texted me – (and, btw, I have not heard from him since.) I think we are alike in many ways. My cell phone is unlisted, so I call him from that number so he doesn’t know it was me calling. (Yeah! Right!). I just want to hear his voice. In a weird way, that satisfies some need of “hearing from him.) How stupid is that? I want…no, “crave” is a better word, a male relationship. I hope I can talk myself out of this relationship, which, truthfully, isn’t a relationship at all, and find myself in a mutually satisfying, happy relationship where 2nd guessing isn’t the norm, and I can be free to be me. Good luck to you, too. I think we are both looking for much the same thing.


avatar Zach on the side April 30, 2012 at 7:17 am

I see in my crystal ball, this man got back together with his ex.

Heart broken for the first time at age 50? Aren’t you the lucky one! But I imagine it might have been harder, having lolled in heart-wholeness for all those years.

We who’ve had much more experience with that have learned along the way that the heart knows how to get pick itself back up, if its owner has an idea of where he/she wants to go.

There’s no solution in the end but to be your own best friend.


avatar judi Curry April 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

Wow Zach! Heartbroken at the age of 50? I think living in China has dwarfted your memory! Thanks, though.


avatar RB April 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

There are several non-med methods of dealing with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Kaiser has a very good program for natural treatment. Basically……no alcohol, deep breathing or yoga, daily exercise to change dopamine brain chemistry, thinking positive, and breaking task into very small steps. Often it is Anxiety that leads to both depression and panic attack. If you have sleep problems and changes in eating, you are entering the area of depression.


avatar OB Mercy April 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Judi, email me at


avatar JMW April 29, 2012 at 4:27 am

Judi, maybe I have nothing to say on this; you’ll decide that, but your 16-hour a day guy couldn’t possibly have time to get together with anyone. If you’re missing your old man, I’m sorry, but what has happened is gone. The irreplaceable is irreplaceable. And, everybody else, give the gal a hug when you see her.


avatar judi Curry April 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you.


avatar JMW April 29, 2012 at 11:29 am

Please, consider yourself hugged.


avatar judi Curry April 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks. Now for my own satisfaction –am I getting a hug from a male, or a female? Not that it matters about human contact – but for my own gratification!


avatar JMW April 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Judi, hi. I’m a guy, a former OB resident and a contributor to the old Rag and to this blog as well – Riyadh Calling. Take a breath; things of the heart will happen on their own schedule and not according to our wishes. I know the clock it ticking, but “you can’t hurry love” the old song goes.


avatar judi Curry April 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thanks again. (My daughter asked me to ask you if you were married. Said to tell you I am looking for an “understanding male.”)


avatar JMW April 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I am a married man and I am happy. As for understanding, that’s still a work in progress. You’ll meet somebody.


avatar judi Curry April 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I know – just impatient! Your wife is a lucky woman.


avatar JMW April 30, 2012 at 7:15 am

Thank you. There may be times when she thinks so.


avatar Zach on the side April 30, 2012 at 7:29 am

Powerful stuff, Judi. If it means anything to you, what I hear is the wrenching pangs of someone who is very much alive, very vibrant, and brimming with love. I read in another post here (Mercy, I think) that the height of love is the height of agony. What a strange species we are, to yearn so indefatigably for the freshest, sharpest of pains. So is love, the rose and the thorn. Did you ever exclaim to yourself just how sharp the rose’s thorn is?

Well, if it means anything to you, again, I always say, life might not be a rose garden, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have roses. Consider this: you have lived, you are so alive, you are a vessel of beauty and love and passion, you are the sum of the human heart. Only the sun has the power to feed such a flower, and luckily for you, the sun rises anew every day.


avatar judi Curry April 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

Beautiful analogy, Z. The rose and the thorn. No wonder you write such beautiful poetry. Thanks for the “sunny” response.



avatar liveinOB May 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

your story touched my heart, I too had my heart broken
lost 20lbs, (found it again, but that’s another story)
as hard as it may seem, you need to delete his number from your phone! you have to break all ties or you’ll keep hoping that maybe he’ll change for you, maybe he’ll realize that you’re different, that you’re the one
heartbreak is a horrible feeling, but in this case, time does heal all wounds
volunteer somewhere, take your dog out to new places, see the beauty that is all around you! as you can tell from the people who have left comments, you’re not alone, nor should you be! look in the mirror every day and smile, the person smiling back at you has power and life and love that doesn’t always have to have a man around to validate you! and for once, make this all about you! I wish you joy & happiness, it’s out there and you don’t have to waste your time looking for it, love will find you again
now, delete him!!!
you’re in my thoughts


avatar judi Curry May 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Thank you so much for your advice. I know what you are saying is true – and day by day I am getting stronger. Pushing that “delete” button will be the final step.


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